August 2020

A Note from Mayor Sulka

Author: Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai

A Note from Lisa Sulka
Census 2020: Make it Count, Bluffton!

This is the year to be counted. The 2020 Census is Bluffton’s opportunity to collect data, which defines our town for years to come. The Census only occurs every decade. This is important because the data collected during the 2020 Census will define our town for the next 10 years and be an important factor in determining funds for schools, highways, parks, business site selection, healthcare facilities, infrastructure, food programs, after-school programs, and recovery efforts from hurricanes or other natural disasters and weather events.

This is my plea to every resident in the Town of Bluffton: please take five minutes and fill out the U.S. Census via my 2020census.gov. The five minutes you take to complete the Census is a benefit to you, your family, your neighbors and the overall community.

The U.S. Census is the one-stop shop for data about every community in the nation, and those figures help determine how big of a piece of the federal and state funding pie Bluffton receives. For example, funds for Bluffton’s sanitary sewer lines, which have replaced septic tanks in Bluffton and prevented pollution to the May River and surrounding waterways, are provided by grants that are determined by Census numbers. State funding, which has helped pay for the Calhoun Street Regional Dock, parks, parking lots and other amenities, has been allocated to Bluffton due to its population and explosive growth. When the town applies for reimbursement from a hurricane or other weather event, those funds are partly determined by Census figures.

The U.S. Census started this process in March, mailing three reminders to every known address to fill out the Census. In past decades, Census workers would go door-to-door helping residents fill out the Census if they had not already responded. Due to the global pandemic, Census workers have not received the green light to proceed. Additionally, in the past, Census workers have attended numerous community events such as festivals, farmers markets and sporting events to assist residents in completing the forms and increase the response rate. Again, due to the pandemic, these activities have been suspended.

It is estimated that each person brings about $2,900 of federal resources to South Carolina each year. If just 100 people don’t respond to the Census, the state could miss out on approximately $3 million over the next 10 years. The deadline is October 31, however, please respond now. 

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